Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Family Portraits

We had an excellent Holiday Family Portrait session yesterday!  We shot on location in this family's beautiful home.  It was a lot of fun and everyone was in the holiday spirit.  Here's a sneak preview of their session... Enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Holidays!!!

Hanukkah is almost over and Christmas is just a week away, so...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wish you were here...

...and, to be honest... I wish I was too...

The weatherman is threatening snow, rain, and unsettling windchill all over the country -- overall it sounds pretty unpleasant... so I think it's time for another dose of paradise!

Taken at the Coppermine Ruins of Virgin Gorda at sunrise, I think this picture captures the other-worldliness of this place.  Hiking around with no other company than the occasional goat, we felt as though we had stepped back in time.  There is an amazing peacefulness that is provided by sites like this one in Virgin Gorda -- you aren't in the USA, so you aren't bombarded with litter, caution tape and people.  Moments like this one are part of what make the British Virgin Islands one of my favorite places on earth.

There is no such thing as a bad sunset in the Caribbean.  As a photographer I have never been so impressed by the variation and diversity of colors, cloud configuration, and subject matter in one location.  This was shot from one of my favorite locations in BVI -- a secret road mentioned in our last posting.  In the distance you can see the Dog Islands, Scrub Island and Great Camanoe.

This shot was taken at sunset at The Baths in Virgin Gorda.  I had just climbed up one of the house-sized boulders to get a fresh perspective of The Baths, when I spotted this ray of light down below in the middle of a cluster of boulders.  It took some squeezing through several narrow openings between boulders to get into this little cove.  I snapped a few shots, and within a minute the sun continued on its path and the shaft of light disappeared.

This shot, featuring a lobster trap, tall grass and Beef Island in the distance, was taken at the Yacht Harbor in  Virgin Gorda.  The Yacht Harbor is a fantastic place to relax, take a walk and meet people -- both locals and visitors to the island.  There are many shops and a grocery store to visit, and Bath & Turtle is a fantastic place to grab an informal breakfast while you observe the morning activity at the harbor.  We even made friends with the resident dog, who was happy to receive scratches from us all morning, pausing only to chase a lizard or two.

To help with the winter doldrums, here is a glimpse of my mental happy place...  This shot was taken from my favorite beach in the world -- Mahoe Bay.  Just steps away from our room at Mango Bay Resort, the water was calm, warm, and full of diverse wildlife.  The promise of returning to the peaceful beauty of this place has gotten us through two dreary New England winters, and will get us through the great white empty this winter in Illinois.

Remember, through the snow, the sleet, the rain, the wind, and the bitter cold -- paradise is just a short flight away.  If you can't make the trip right now, or even if you can, check back soon for more pictures of our time in paradise... stay warm, and happy holidays!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On Location in the Virgin Islands

   We just returned from an AMAZING visit to the Virgin Islands.  This was my third trip to the area, but it was the first time I focused entirely on photographing the beautiful and diverse locations throughout the islands.  Even though we always pack light, I made sure to bring as much photo gear as I could carry to prepare for the wide variety of lighting conditions and subject matter.  Over the next few weeks I'll be posting some of my favorite images from the trip -- so make sure you check back throughout the dreary days of winter :-(  for an island pick-me-up!

The excellent view of St. Thomas from the Island View Guesthouse.  We spent a night in St. Thomas, USVI on our way to the British Virgin Islands, and couldn't have hoped for a better place to stay.  The owners, Ron and Beth, were very friendly, kind and accommodating.  It was the perfect place to rest from traveling and get into the Caribbean mood.

A pelican takes flight on Mahoe Bay -- on the beach at Mango Bay Resort
The pelicans - sometimes as many as eight - would dive into the sea headfirst scooping up great mouthfuls of water and fish.  They showed no concern about landing within five feet of swimmers and routinely splashed us during their fishing attempts.

A garden at Rosewood Little Dix Bay.  This resort was founded by Laurance Rockefeller in 1964.  The resort features beautiful beaches, luxurious amenities, and a number of restaurants and bars.  We took a short walk around their property and really enjoyed their gardens.

  I took this photograph outside our room at Mango Bay Resort.  I used my 50mm lens for the clarity and nice background blur that it always achieves.  The interesting fuzzy effect occurred as a result of moving my camera from the air-conditioned room to the humid outdoors right before capturing the picture.  There was a little condensation on my UV filter and it provided the softening effect.  It was one of those happy accidents.

The Baths of Virgin Gorda are one of the most iconic locations in the Caribbean.  We arrived there shortly before sunrise to avoid the crowds and were rewarded with unobstructed views and a rainbow (one of many during the trip).

This photograph is a perfect example of why The British Virgin Islands are a photographer's paradise.  During our 7 day trip, we didn't miss a single sunset.  This is one of my favorite views in the world -- taken from a secret trail that few know exists and even fewer visit.

The Coppermine Ruins are one of the best sights in Virgin Gorda.  We spent a lot of time climbing around the rocks and ruins.  This photograph was taken in the very early morning, at an extremely slow shutter-speed while my husband painted the ruins with light.  This effect allows for perfect exposure of the sky and sea, while also bringing out the detail and texture of the ruins, which would have otherwise been in silhouette.

This is just a small sample of the 3,000+ images I shot during our visit to the Virgin Islands.  Check back for more amazing photographs of the most beautiful place on earth...  Thanks for visiting!